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composing stick

noun, Printing.
a portable, adjustable, usually metal tray that the compositor holds in one hand while placing in it type gathered with the other hand.
Also called job stick.
Origin of composing stick
First recorded in 1670-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for composing stick
Historical Examples
  • He stands before his case with a "composing stick" in his hand.

    Makers of Many Things Eva March Tappan
  • Bobby set up the matter in the composing stick—and promptly pied it when he attempted to move it to the chase.

    The Adventures of Bobby Orde Stewart Edward White
  • What if Burns had been ashamed of his plough, and Franklin had lost his recollection of the candle-moulds and the composing stick?

  • He did work till midnight; then—in spite of the threat that he would be discharged—he laid down his composing stick on the case.

    The Book of Courage

    John Thomson Faris
  • GalleyA shallow tray used by compositors to hold type after the lines have been set and transferred from the composing stick.

  • In no other way can the niceties of typography be so thoroughly or conveniently learned as with composing stick and type case.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
  • Lines that will fall down when the composing stick is slightly tipped forward are too loosely justified.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
  • First place the composing stick conveniently at hand, with its back toward the compositor.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
  • If the composing stick will accommodate each line of verse in a line of type the composition will be much simplified.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
  • Set the letters in line in a composing stick, with nicks all one way, and then distribute them in the usual way.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
British Dictionary definitions for composing stick

composing stick

(printing) a metal holder of adjustable width in which a compositor sets a line of type at a time by hand; now rarely used
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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